In what has already been the most exciting free agency period in Buccaneers history, the good news of possible superb fortunes keeps rolling in. The Buccaneers are attempting to make good on their promise to surround Josh Freeman with talent and to make sure he doesn’t receive the beating he did last year.
This is possibly going to be accomplished by way of stealing veteran left guard Carl Nicks away from the Saints and adding him to what would make the best offensive guard tandem in the NFL.
Nicks had contract talks with the Saints fall apart late Monday evening and he entered free agency when the flood gates opened at 4pm EST.
Nicks is scheduled to meet with the Bucs sometime this week and it appears Tampa will have the first shot at signing him.
In New Orleans, Nicks was instrumental to Drew Brees success, protecting the Hall of Famer all through his multiple journey’s to the top of the passing charts. Nicks also contributed to the three headed beast that emerged from the Saints backfield the past couple of years, a talent that Greg Schiano would love to port over to Tampa for LeGarette Blount and whoever joins him in the backfield.
With news of Nicks visit, and the news that Vincent Jackson is going to be added to the roster, the Glazers are manufacturing hope and electrifying a fan base that was losing it’s pulse thanks to an abysmal 2011 campaign.
The Eagles are also reported to be after Nicks, as they are scrambling to arrange a visit. Tampa beat them to first dibs, but there is no guarantee that Nicks won’t visit the Eagles after he comes to Tampa. Having Nicks will instantly upgrade the offensive line and with him paired on the same line as Davin Joseph, the Bucs would have the best offensive guard tandem in the NFL.
If Nicks is signed, the assumption is that Jeremy Zuttah (who just last week inked a fresh 4-year deal) would move to center and Jeff Faine would be cut to free up roughly $8 million in space.
Nicks will command a high salary, one in excess of $8 million a year. The Bucs have over $40 million in cap space this year, and even if they add Jackson and linebacker Curtis Lofton, they will still have enough to add Nicks and a cornerback while still having money to sign Morris Claiborne and other draft picks.
Holding off on the spending last year worried Bucs fans as to the Glazer’s plans for this year but the wait was worth it. The Bucs went from being a lowly NFC team in rebuilding mode at 3pm today to dream team-like squad at 5pm.
Maybe the Glazers are serious about this team, and it appears they have more then just one year improvements on the mind.